'Science and the Public Sphere' Seminar

‘Vaccine passport I: An ethical conundrum’

foule science publicsphere

Speakers: Katrien Devolder (Reuben College) and Marie Gaille (CNRS, Sphere, University of Paris VII).
Chair: Mogens Laerke (MFO)

Basic ethical considerations feature prominently in practically all deliberations and decisions regarding the use of vaccine passports, on the scientific, administrative, and political level. On the pragmatic level, vaccine passports offer an opportunity to open up sections of the economy that are in tatters, opening borders, reuniting families, and removing the pressure on the livelihoods of countless people. But their use can also appear incompatible with fundamental principles of equality and freedom. Is that indeed the case, or is this impression of incompatibility merely and effect of misguided interpretation of what those principles amount to? Or if indeed the use of vaccine passports is at odds with these fundamental principal properly understood, how much should they weigh against equally fundamental principles of security, safety, and happiness?



To attend this event, please register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYtd-ysrD8oHd1FySSLJSNkQgvCZWS7mXTB

About this seminar:


Vaccine passports: finding an adequate tool to exit the Covid-19 pandemic or opening Pandora’s Box?


For one year now, the option of vaccine passports or immunity certificates has been gaining ground to allow international travel or entry into certain public or cultural places: as vaccination campaigns are rolled out at an uneven pace according to countries and continents, getting the economy moving again and reviving social and cultural life appear to be priorities. Beyond practical, technological and organisational difficulties expected, the implementation of immunity certificates may create distinctions and reinforce unfairnesses between populations, both on a local and on a global scale. What scientific, ethical, legal and social dilemmas are at stake in implementing vaccine passports? Is it an adequate but premature project, as most of the world population cannot access the vaccine? What moral, ethical and social cost are we prepared to pay to regain our freedom of movement that the pandemic has so dramatically undermined? What is at stake in the “passportisation” approach of the current sanitary crisis?


Three sessions of the seminar 'Science and the Public Sphere', convened by the Maison française d'Oxford, will address the challenges of implementing immunity certificates amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Each session will offer two presentations by acknowledged researchers in their field and a debate. All welcome.

Organised in collaboration with the Higher Education, Research and Innovation Department of the French Embassy in the United Kingdom.